Home stories Traveling To Italy In The Summer: What To Wear, How To Pack, What To Do

Traveling To Italy In The Summer: What To Wear, How To Pack, What To Do

written by M.E. Evans July 13, 2015

This is my HOLY SHIT I’m GETTING READY, stunned, deer-in-a-headlight look.

What the fuck? Oh, a camera. Click.

What the fuck? Oh, a camera. Click.

Travel to Italy this year is booming because the dollar is finally almost as strong as the euro. It’s affordable now so naturally loads of people from the US are hopping over to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: Italy. Now, the summer is tricky because it’s beautiful, a perfect time for beaches and the architecture looks that much more beautiful kissed in the warm sunlight but it’s crowded, hot, and expensive even with the stronger dollar. As most of you know already, Francesco took a new job in the US so now we’re living in between Italy and (gasp) Arizona (but soon to be Utah). Let’s get it out in the open that I hate long flights, i hate them. I’m inpatient and my anxiety makes my life miserable because I’m like, “Oh my God I bet my blood is clotting and I’m going to be an amputee,” or “If we crash in the ocean the sharks will eat me….or at least chew off my legs.” Sigh. I’ve learned from taking 10,000 international flights that one of the best ways to handle the long flight is to prepare for it, all of it, from the discomfort to the stinky, dirty, feeling horrible factor. I know that I’m about to sound like a crazy person but trust me, these tips will help you feel human after being strapped into a chair and forced to breathe in the carbon dioxide of strangers for 8-15 hours depending on where you’re coming from.


  • Always pack undies, an extra outfit, contact solution, etc., in case your luggage is temporarily lost. And? This happens all the damn time so really prepare for it.
  • Lavender water face mist. Yeah, for men and women, and here’s why: It makes you calm, relieves anxiety, helps you sleep and stops your face from drying out and looking like a zombie for the next week. Flying dries out your body so hydrate your face off.
  • Deodorant body wipes: Target has these in their travel section and you can use them on your entire body so you don’t land smelling like a bog monster plus they leave a fine coat of powder so you feel soft and dreamy.
  • Airborne packets, the normal ones and the ones with Melatonin: You’re trapped with weird humans in a germ capsule, getting sick on your trip is the worst way to spend your vacation. I take one packet with melatonin when I get on to make me tired and help me sleep, and then I take a normal one WITHOUT melatonin before landing. You’re thinking, “But M.E., this is a ton of shit,” but trust me, prevention can make your trip awesome or terrible and it’s not worth wasting money on a vacation when you’re dying in the hotel room from the bird flu or some other crazy shit you contracted on the plane from some baby sitting next to you snotting into your wine goblet.
  • Yes To Cucumbers, Cucumber face cleansing wipes: Also available at Target. You’ll feel a billion times better if you can wash your face when you wake up from your in flight slumber.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Obvious, dudes, nobody has time for your dragon breathe AND you’ll feel much better and less icky.
  • Melatonin pills: I bring these just in case because sleeping on the plane will do wonders for you. Don’t take more than directed and read instructions carefully.
  • Protein bars: I am always starving on the plane because plane food is mostly simple sugars and shit. A lot of shit.
  • Giant ass bottle of water I buy in the airport after security. The flight attendance never give out enough water and flying sucks the water out of you.
  • Ear plugs, that mask thing that blocks out the light, AND FUZZY SPA SOCKS! I wear flip flops in the airport so in the plane I put them in my carry-on, and put on fuzzy spa socks. They moisturize and make love to your feet while you’re crammed in uncomfortable positions. Not to mention, this way you’re not kicking off your stinky ass shoes and ruining the flight for everyone. Trust me, wear flips flops, and use the spa socks. Guys and ladies, you’ll do it once and never, ever not do it. PLUS, in Italy you’ll want to wear house shoes because the flooring is usually cold in your apartment, etc and your flip flops will come in handy.


I’m going to a wedding in Cassino next week which means days with my in-laws (&%/£$%£) and then 12 hours of eating the day after I step off of an international flight. I found my dress for the wedding at Nordstrom. This season, in Italy, floral prints, lace, and red are really in for wedding guest attire. How do I know that? Because Francesco researched it first and sent me a buttload of articles like this one on How To Dress For A Wedding Ceremony As A Guest. Here is my dress, with nude sandals and a nude clutch.

As per usual, interesting cuts, loose-fitting blouses, and neutrals are also in for Italy every summer. Skinny jeans in red, teal, aqua, or a variety of bright colors are also in right now for both men and women. Men, pair with a t-shirt, ladies, a loose fitting blouse or loose fitting t-shirt. The style in Italy is often balanced, if you wear tight pants you don’t typically wear a skin-tight shirt too. But again, every region of Italy has a different style. Florence is more fashion meets bohemian. An excellent place to shop in the US for european-styled clothing is Zara. Honestly, in Florence, a lot of the locals shop there and mix Zara pieces with more expensive Italian-made items. Bring big sunglasses, comfortable shoes (like Toms or some other versatile shoe and sandals but avoid Flip Flops in public because those are only worn in homes or at beaches), a few nice outfits for dinner (remember, Italians don’t do dinner in yoga pants, they dress up in nice clothes), and sunscreen. I use Beach Bum because it’s all natural and not toxic (I swear to jesus this is not a Target post but you can buy it there as well). Beware of high heels, ladies! If you’re used to wearing them on cobblestones than go for it but if not I’d try to stick with a fatter heel if possible. It’s about 100 degrees right now, with like 40% humidity so keep that in mind when you’re packing.


  • Filippo Fiora: For men’s fashion and high fashion. This is for the luxury level man who wants to look like a million bucks, wear a suit like a champion, and work the streets like a fashion God.
  • Fashion Wire Press: These guys cover street style and high fashion. I love their street pics. Gives you an idea of how the well-dressed locals work it on the streets.
  • Alley + Rae: For children’s clothing that is hip and fun. It’s not an Italian brand, BUT, their cool t-shirts and little outfits are totally something you’d see on kids in Italy.
  • Chiara Ferragni: Street fashion, put together looks, fashion week, and all things clothing. She’s one of the biggest fashion bloggers in Italy and I love her instagram account. It’s women’s fashion only for the most part but it’s a good insight and it’s very northern Italy (Milan) which is crazy similar to a mix of NY and CA.
  • M.E.: I will be documenting, stalking, and doing my usual street fashion stuff during my entire trip throughout Naples, Rome, Cassino, Florence, and who knows where else! Follow me for the RIGHT NOW look at what to wear starting this Friday.


  • As usual I’m going to try to persuade you to do an “off the beaten path,” trip because holy shit so fun. You’ll have a less crowded, more “authentic,” Italian experience. Rent a car, drive all over Italy, and stay in some fabulous agriturismo places along the way, like this one La Tavola Marche. I haven’t been yet but it’s on my list for this trip given I have the time (fingers crossed).
  • Check out the islands. Sardegna, Elba Island, or Sicily are what dreams are made of and surprisingly you’ll find less tourists there than in places like Florence. You can drive around the country and then take a super cheap Ryanair flight over to the islands.
  • Travel in groups (if you can) of friends and rent apartments instead of hotels. It can end up being a lot cheaper that way. We almost only use apartments when we travel because you can cook, chill, and split the cost with friends. Kind of perfect. Check out Flipkey for cute apartments!
  • Go camping! Italy has tons of campgrounds and a lot of them are not like the camping we have in the US. This is Italian camping, where you can stay in a “cabin,” which is actually a stand-alone hotel room, and campgrounds usually have swimming pools, clubs, bars, and cafes. Yes, seriously.

What else would you guys recommend for an awesome July trip in Italy? Put your suggestions in the comments below and help me find new things to do on this trip I’m leaving for in THREE DAYS plus it’s always helpful for other readers. Can’t wait, ladies and gents. And? I just ordered a unicorn head mask from Amazon that arrives tomorrow. For Italy. It’s a long story.

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Jenny Testa July 13, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Haha! Perfect. Thank you. I love you

Michael Sokol July 13, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Your advice is right on, we have all felt like zombies after getting off the flight in Europe. I would like to add that when I am traveling I take very old underwear and toss it after wearing so I will have more room in my bag and not have dirty stuff to wash when I get to my destination. Another great idea take a small travel size Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Soap and a washcloth. A quick rise of your vital areas and your will feel reborn, Dr. Brooner’s is an old hippie favorite from the 60’s (I’m 71) natural and organic. VERY REFRESSING, You are a very fetching young lady and I love your writing style. Keep up the good work. If I ever win the lotto I will spend half the year in Italia and half in Montana. Cheers, Michael

M.E. Evans July 13, 2015 at 8:01 pm

Michael, my mom calls that a “whores bath.” Great advice and I love Dr. bronners.

Wynne July 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

My mom calls it a PTA bath – I’ll leave it to you to figure out the initials, but the first letter starts in the nether regions and you work your way up from there for the other two.

M.E. Evans July 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm


Emily July 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm

My best advice for summer travel in Italy: take mosquito spray with you, in your purse, wherever you go. Trust me, it will be worth it when you’re sipping a drink with your hottie and you’ve accumulated 17 bites on your feet. Nothing is more attractive then constant bending and itching.

M.E. Evans July 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Emily! Shit! Thank you! I meant to add that. You’re awesome.

ilona July 13, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Yes and carry a “dopo puntura pen” with Ammoniak against the itchy bites. all Italian pharmacies sell these.

Steve Molter July 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I’m legitimately packing as we speak for a month in Italy. Perfect timing, M.E. Grazie.

wendydawkins July 14, 2015 at 12:09 am

I’m going out on a limb and suggesting that mosquito repellant (in all it’s glorious forms) might be more critical than tooth paste!

italyproject365 July 14, 2015 at 5:17 am

Awesome list! Totally stocking up on some of those Target products when I go home in August. The only thing I might add is a sleeping mask – you know the ones that cover your eyes and block at all light? I’m really sensitive to light and can’t sleep when there isn’t total darkness, so I hate when I get stuck to someone on the plane who opens and closes the plane window anxiously or who watches films all night long. Safe travels xx

Dan July 14, 2015 at 7:22 am

While they take up space and are not cheap, for me, the very nice Bose noise-cancelling headphones are indispensable on a long flight. Flying is just one long assault on the senses, and hearing is no exception. Airplane engines are incredibly loud. Not to mention all of your fellow travelers.
I do recall that Francesco does some sort of work in the high end audio business; don’t let him try the headphones. The sound quality is not that great and for the price you could get something that sounds far better at home. But for flying, nothing comes close.

Wynne July 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

Wait, what?? Francesco took a job in the US?! How did I miss THAT?! Wow – exciting! And Utah is gorgeous. Do you know yet which months will be spent where?

I hope to never be in Europe during the summer, as anything over 82 degrees is my own personal hell. (I LOATHE summer and love winter – I’m an anomaly.)

If you’re ever in NYC, you’re more than welcome to crash – just give a holler!

M.E. Evans July 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Wynne, not sure yet! I come to NY all the time because my best friend lives there. We should grab a coffee next time I’m in the city!

Michael Sokol July 14, 2015 at 10:53 am

Another thing not to travel without is Tee Tree oil, a very small bottle will do so much, especially good on bites, takes away the itch almost as soon as you put it on. Also if you get a zit, a drop or two will nip it in the bud. Just sayin….

Susan Lassiter July 15, 2015 at 4:31 am

Great article, as always! I would advise a small fan to keep in your bag, Italy is soooo hot and muggy right now, I have a plastic fan that an ex-colleague gave me from India Airlines and it has saved my life this year!
Extra hair elastics, especially the soft ones, might be a good thing to have extras of.
ME, can you tell me if any of those wipes you name are available in Italy (where I live)? I’ll be needing some of them to go to the US in December.

M.E. Evans July 15, 2015 at 7:39 am

Susan, when I’m in Italy flying to the US I make my own because they might exist there but I’ve never found them in Florence. You can cut a washcloth into four squares and soak them in different liquids depending on what you need them for, then seal them in little ziplock bags (get all the air out) and label them. For a badass all over wipe: 1 cup boiled water, 1/2 cup witch hazel, 1 T Olive oil, a drop or two of fragrance or essential oils. Oh, and Lush sales the Lavender water face tonic in Italy which you can also add to it.

Sarah July 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Another quick fashion tip is that nice looking platform sandals are in style and all over in the shops here right now. They are a great alternative to high heels so that you can look classy without breaking your ankle/leg/will to live on the crazy cobble stones. At least that’s what I have seen in Tuscany.

Carole Estes July 17, 2015 at 8:49 am

I would bring ICE ICE ICE!! And a fan. I have never been so hot in my life. I am living in Italy this summer. I spent two months in Turin and one so far in Formia near Gaeta. Since July 27 it has been above 90 degrees every day. Restaurants are not air conditioned even when they say they are. So get a hotel with a pool. Best Wishes.

M.E. Evans July 19, 2015 at 2:02 am

It IS hot. We are in Cassino now, heading to Formia tonight 😉

Carole Estes July 19, 2015 at 9:29 am

We are going to try an Apertivo tonight in Formia at the end of our block on the waterfront near the park. Hope to see you !! 🙂

M.E. Evans July 20, 2015 at 11:58 pm

Caroles, I was at my nieces birthday party. But I hope you had a spritz or two for me. 😉

Ashley July 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Those fuzzy spa socks are a rad idea. I usually pack regular socks (or slippers..) but I think the fuzzy ones would make the flight a little better.

Un po' di pepe July 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Just finished packing and on my way to the airport to fly to Roma. Packed my homemade bug spray. I may have to spend my time in Roma in the catacombs because it may be the only place to cool down!

Jeanne July 19, 2015 at 7:34 am

Instead of bug spray liquid we took those battery operated Off clip on things that you insert handi-wipe sized towelettes soaked with bug spray in to (they are Individually foil wrapped). And our landlady also had a mosquito repellent thing that she plugged in to a wall outlet (like a citronella night light).

shampoothedog July 23, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Admittedly, I’m not done reading this whole post yet, however I wanted to place a little ray of sunshine in your mind. Imagine if you will, you’re flying to Italy (or USA. Take your pick) and you develop a blood clot. No worries. You’ll be placed on powerful blood thinners and you’re on your way. Then, on your return trip, the plane crashes into the ocean. You survive. Thank heavens! However, a shark bites your leg. (He doesn’t chomp it off, just a little nibble.) You think to yourself, “Wow, I really dodged a bullet.” But, you suddenly remember you’re on blood thinners and you bleed to death. The shark then eats you, thus completing the circle of life.

Carina July 25, 2015 at 5:43 am

great post Misty, but oddio…. no no no for following filippo and la ferragni (she lives in the states full time now and has completely forgot she’s italian, plus her style is NOT italian at all). If you want a good look of what italian women really wear, check out average women who don’t have huge instagram following (otherwise you just see sponsored stuff everywhere), like lulaida, micaelaeluca, chiara_style, sarinski_ or vivianavolpicella, alessandragrillo (a socialite, but great style as well), or eleonoracarisi… ecco 🙂

M.E. Evans July 28, 2015 at 2:41 am

Carina, I agree, her style isn’t very typically Italian. That’s true. She does dress more like an American woman in California. I’ve been taking a ton of street style pictures here that I’ll be posting because I agree with you. Street style is always best. Thanks for the recommendations for instagram. I’ll add them to the list. 🙂


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